Writer, do not change my words, write in English
Marriage is an institution ordained by God, yes
It is holy solemnization, celebrated by men,
A union of soul and body of a couple
That is what they say.
It is to be enjoyed, for procreation too
My marriage is the exact opposite
Several institutions, with a man and plenty women
Unholy and enforced by my parents
United by parents endured by daughters
My uninformed consent does not even count nor sought
I feel so awkward among them; makes me cry night and day
A dirty marriage where I wash dishes daily
Fear of contracting AIDS, the beginning of wisdom,
Jealousy and rage I apply caution
My real mates learn Arithmetic and sex education
Present mates teach me sex copulation
My mates here, my grandma’s playgroup there
Their grandchildren are my mates at the civic centre
Do not belong here but left with an alternative
Learning how to please all, the best alternative
Living to be an instrument of enjoyment for old man
My life, my potentials, my future all in a dowry basket,
Or was it exchanged for a head of cow?
I was traded like a slave to papa
He was even present at my mother’s christening
My playground now is on the smelling mat
He digs into my cloth with hoe like nails.
The question is ready or not, I am here.
Married to a man nearer to the grave than the altar
Wonder at the offence that sentenced me to this agony
I live my life by the day
Plan less, purposeless, reasonless, and futureless
His daily activities are my “periods”
A culture that severed me from my future,
Relieving parents of their responsibility
Can I ever love my children?
To bring forth children when I am equally a child
They are brought forth in sadness and agony
To be trained by others, due to my incapability
I cannot differentiate between umbilical cord and radio cord
Et toi papa, et toi mama
You released me to an unknown future
Very sure of my widowhood before adulthood
Abrupt end to my childhood stage
Enduring sex, enjoying weeping
Secretly awaiting my vesico vagina fistula
Praying daily that night would not come
Dawn brings darkness into my soul
Sentenced to a life of perpetual ignorance
I can neither read nor write
Although I recognise my father in a picture
Peeping, waiting for mate to put my thoughts in letters
I dictate inner feelings could not wait in Dictation class
Looking for a writer at my age to dictate my intents
A child should be a child all over the world.
I was made to jump two steps at a time
You expose me to things I could not comprehend
My duties exchanged for parental responsibilities
Your burden became mine to carry at this tender age.
I know there is a government,
Even if it is a management one
I have a sister now she is twelve years old
Parents are running out of patience
Basket of dowry or head of cow
No breast, no menstruation, no developmental growth
All these and more will meet at the old papa’s house
To be traded for a dowry without her consent
The boys belong to the state during the war
To be recruited against their wish, is it only during the war?
Don’t girls belong to the state?
Management government, put age before marry
Coinage of agemarry is better
Mother suffered this, I am in agony
It is my sister’s turn, let it be agemarry.